Harnessing the true potential of data can help utilities and telecoms to control today, and shape tomorrow

4 minute read
Combining information through shared location can unlock new value.

Utilities and telecoms are balancing unprecedented weather, global supply issues and growing customer demand, while trying to meet ambitious net zero targets and keep customers happy. Smart appliances, including smart meters, are set to give end users better access to their energy usage and create efficiencies in demand, but truly unlocking the benefits from this “connected living” requires a solid network infrastructure for consumers’ homes to interact with smart grids. This is just one example of how joined-up thinking is crucial to tackle increasing costs and squeezes on profitability, while also ensuring that prices are manageable for consumers and that vulnerable end users are protected.

The role of data

As highlighted by the government’s recent Energy Strategy, resilience has become a key focus across sectors, especially as energy prices rise. Securing supply is not just about gaining better control of variables today, but also boosting innovation for tomorrow. At the heart of the challenge lies information. By gaining a ‘whole system’ picture of operations, leaders across utilities and telecoms can make more informed and quicker decisions to better stabilise the impact of disruption and unlock innovation for the future.

This is supported by CapGemini research that shows that instead of considering short-term strategies for profit margin maintenance, providers should use the pandemic as an opportunity to reflect on traditional strategies. Investing in next generation digital capabilities and new hybrid working systems will ensure security and, as ever, data holds the key.

Data sharing

Utilities and telecoms companies are sat on a goldmine of information that is vital for meeting these complex challenges. The problem is that much of this information is held in silos, not being fully utilised and cannot be combined, so its full value is not realised. This is reflected in a recent report by the UK Energy Digitalisation Taskforce, which included delivering interoperability as a key recommendation – crucial to achieving a digitalised energy system. The report found that a data sharing fabric, data catalogue and crucial standards were vital to this interoperability.

By harnessing data effectively to optimise operations you can control today effectively, so you can face the future with powerful business intelligence that shapes tomorrow.

Location is a crucial linchpin, linking disparate data sets together through their shared spatial component, so you can combine information to unlock new value. Location can bring structure to big data sets – especially as increased connectivity is boosting the quantity of information – to ensure they are actionable and specific to the application. For example, effectively combining localised weather data with asset maps and real-time locations of maintenance crews can rapidly speed up response to damaged infrastructure. Overlaying population information with asset maps and planning records can also help predict the areas set to see the biggest energy demand in the future.

Utilities and telecoms companies can harness the power of location to control operations today, minimising the risk of a volatile market, as well as identify and plan for the biggest opportunities of tomorrow. It is this ability to turn disparate data into actionable insights that makes location crucial in enabling these companies to manage change and identify future opportunities.

What we can offer

Ordnance Survey’s 230 years of facilitating collaboration and managing data and services can help your organisation find practical solutions to complex challenges. Building on our experience of managing the National Geographic Database, and facilitating major projects for government and private customers alike, our expertise in handling data means you can enjoy all the benefits of sharing information without any of the security concerns.

Read our new reports to find out how to:

Headshot of Chris Tagg
By Chris Tagg

Head of OS Connect